This latest addition to Allen’s series about a determined fourth-grader highlights Mya’s struggles to keep her family and friends connected any way she can.
While her big brother, Nugget, is congratulated for his intelligence and her baby sister, Macey, is showered with attention and constant care, Mya is left out of the circle of love she’s used to sharing with her African-American family. Most of her earnest attempts to attract her parents’ attention are either ignored or met with confusion, but when she’s given a school assignment to build a business, Mya’s sure that a good-news-only newspaper will be the perfect vehicle to park her parents’ focus back on her. In between trying to get her family back on track, repairing broken friendships, and ensuring joyous birthday celebrations for her twin friends and for their small Texas town, Mya learns solid lessons about the lasting power of hurtful language, the importance of speaking up for yourself, and the pressures of owning a small business. Mya faces realistic consequences for some of her more questionable hijinks, but the inclusion of accessible templates for building budgets and business plans and the fact that adults listen to Mya when she expresses emotional distress make this more than just a story about adaptability; it’s an introduction to other, broader conversations with kids about money, health, and responsibility.
Allen lassoes another terrific tale for the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series. (Fiction. 8-10)